The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Brandon Phillips dingered, doubled, drove in 3 runs, smiled a bunch, didn't fumble any potential double play balls, and reminded all of us of the young 2B that broke in with the Cincinnati Reds in the mid-aughts and terrorized Milwaukee Brewers pitching. It was also his second dinger in as many days - cleanup hitter, indeed!
It was a throwback performance in many ways for BP, one the middle of the Reds lineup could surely stand to see more of as the season wears on. Have a trophy, Beep, and here's to the sustained success.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jay Bruce, who smoked a 3-run bratwurst against the team he's honked more donkers against in his career than any other; Zack Cozart, who had a pair of hits (including a double), scored a run, and made a pair of Gold Glove caliber plays at SS; and Joey Votto, who walked thrice and scored twice (and reached base in his other PA via fielder's choice, because vintage Joey is on the cusp of busting heads again).
- Woo buddy, the Reds came out of the starting gate in this one as if they had a blood feud with Nyquist and a healthy dose of lasix for lunch. Cozart led off the Bottom of the 1st with a single up the middle, and he moved to 3B when Billy Hamilton doubled off the glove of the CF one pitch later. Votto walked on an effective pitcharound to load the bases, and Cozart then scored on a line-drive sac "fly" to left-center off the bat of Phillips. That left a pair of runners on for Bruce, all of whom scored when Bruce honked a massive 3-run dinger off Chase Anderson into the hundreds of empty seats in RF. Eugenio Suarez then grounded out for the 2nd out of the inning, but Adam Duvall then reached 2B on an error by SS Jonathan Villar, and he scored when Barnhart singled him in. Reds led, 5-0.
- Phillips further fermented things in the Bottom of the 2nd when he blasted a mammoth dinger into the Reds' bullpen in left-center, a 2-run shot that came after Cozart had doubled to lead off the inning. Reds led, 7-0.
- The beers foamed a heady run across the plate in the Top of the 5th, ultimately the product of Alfredo Simon plunking Jonathan Lucroy with an inside fastball to begin the inning. Lucroy moved up to 2B two batters later on a productive groundout, and then scored when Aaron Hill poked a 2-out single to CF. Reds led, 7-1.
- Yeast joke.
- With 110 pitches to his name, Simon was still pitching in the Top of the 8th, and that was with Jonathan Villar sitting on 1B after taking a 2-out walk. That became erpy immediately, since Alex Presley smoked a 2-run donker over the RF wall on pitch number 111 to end Alfredo's evening. Reds led, 7-3.
- No matter, though, as the Reds got those two runs back immediately in the Bottom of the 8th, as Eugenio Suarez doubled in front of Duvall, who blasted a 2-run homer onto the grass in straightaway CF. Reds led, 9-3.
- J.J. Hoover got the ball for the Top of the 9th and, well, well. Chris Carter hit a billion-foot dinger off the batter's eye in CF, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled off the wall in CF just to make me have to spell his name. Back to back productive grounders scored Kirk, and Hoover managed to escape sans further damage after that. Reds won, 9-5!
Sittin' on the dock of the FanGraph, watchin' the tiiiiide roll until the 9th inning
- Alfredo Simon threw 7.2 IP of 3 ER, 7 H, 5 K, 1 BB ball. I'm not about to talk about Alfredo Simon, though.
- Hoover's rough 9th inning extended the bullpen's streak of allowing at least one run to 23 games, already an MLB record.
- It's now 29 games into the season, and the entirety of the roster only has one save to its name. We also still have no idea who the next closer will be, since there's not been a save situation since Hoover got demoted nearly two weeks ago.
- Before the game, the Reds made absolutely no roster moves, and it seems like it's the first day in forever in which that's been the case. No new injuries, no new grocers-turned-starters, and no 60-day DL transfers on this Thursday. Today was a good day.
- Tim Adleman will take the mound for the Reds tomorrow in the second game of the four game set. He'll be countered by, umm...you should probably Google Tyler Cravy. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET, per usual.